China does not pose serious disease threats to travelers. Many visitors who come regularly to the big cities for work never get vaccinations and do not have any problems. However, for concerned travelers, here are some suggestions.
Travelers to China should be up-to-date on their routine vaccinations which include the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and the yearly flu shot. For older travelers, these may require booster vaccines. Additionally, Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines are also recommended. Both of these diseases are contracted through contaminated food or water, so it is important to only drink boiled or bottled water and avoid under-cooked food.
For travelers visiting Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, or Western Sichuan, altitude sickness is a serious concern. If not prepared for, high altitudes can cause headaches, dizziness, and vomiting. The most common drugs to battle altitude sickness are acetazolamide and dexamethasone. These can easily be acquired before arriving in China or with the help of a guide in any large Chinese city.
The most common sickness for travelers to China is travelers diarrhea. While this can mostly be prevented by drinking bottled water and avoiding under-cooked and street-side food, it is recommended that all travelers ask their doctors for anti-diarrhea pills before coming to China.